Small-scale heterogeneity of trace metals including REY in deep-sea sediments and pore waters of the Peru Basin, southeastern equatorial Pacific.

Paul, Sophie A. L., Haeckel, Matthias , Bau, Michael, Bajracharya, Rajina and Koschinsky, Andrea (2019) Small-scale heterogeneity of trace metals including REY in deep-sea sediments and pore waters of the Peru Basin, southeastern equatorial Pacific. Open Access Biogeosciences (BG), 16 (24). pp. 4829-4849. DOI 10.5194/bg-16-4829-2019.

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Abstract

Due to its remoteness, the deep-sea floor remains an understudied ecosystem of our planet. The patchiness of existing data sets makes it difficult to draw conclusions about processes that apply to a wider area. In our study we show how different settings and processes determine sediment heterogeneity on small spatial scales. We sampled solid phase and porewater from the upper 10 m of an approximately 7.4×13 km2 area in the Peru Basin, in the southeastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, at 4100 m water depth. Samples were analyzed for trace metals, including rare earth elements and yttrium (REY), as well as for particulate organic carbon (POC), CaCO3, and nitrate. The analyses revealed the surprisingly high spatial small-scale heterogeneity of the deep-sea sediment composition. While some cores have the typical green layer from Fe(II) in the clay minerals, this layer is missing in other cores, i.e., showing a tan color associated with more Fe(III) in the clay minerals. This is due to varying organic carbon contents: nitrate is depleted at 2–3 m depth in cores with higher total organic carbon contents but is present throughout cores with lower POC contents, thus inhibiting the Fe(III)-to-Fe(II) reduction pathway in organic matter degradation. REY show shale-normalized (SN) patterns similar to seawater, with a relative enrichment of heavy REY over light REY, positive LaSN anomaly, negative CeSN anomaly, and positive YSN anomaly and correlate with the Fe-rich clay layer and, in some cores, also correlate with P. We therefore propose that Fe-rich clay minerals, such as nontronite, as well as phosphates, are the REY-controlling phases in these sediments. Variability is also seen in dissolved Mn and Co concentrations between sites and within cores, which might be due to dissolving nodules in the suboxic sediment, as well as in concentration peaks of U, Mo, As, V, and Cu in two cores, which might be related to deposition of different material at lower-lying areas or precipitation due to shifting redox boundaries.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: deep-sea sediment, trace elements, sediment biogeochemistry, deep-sea mining, Peru Basin
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/bg-16-4829-2019
ISSN: 1726-4170
Projects: JPIO-MiningImpact
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2019 07:47
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2020 08:58
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/48296

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